Thomas Courts gives verdict on Rangers penalty decision as Dundee United boss claims his side deserved draw at Ibrox

Dundee United manager Thomas Courts hailed the bravery of his youthful side as they fell agonisingly short of holding Rangers to a draw at Ibrox.

Dundee United manager Thomas Courts looks on during his team's Premiership match against Rangers at Ibrox. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)
Dundee United manager Thomas Courts looks on during his team's Premiership match against Rangers at Ibrox. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

With his first team squad hit by five positive Covid tests, Courts included four teenagers in his starting line-up with another four on the bench.

United produced an admirable display as Rangers needed a 71st minute penalty kick from James Tavernier to claim all three points. Even then, United almost levelled in stoppage time when 18-year-old Darren Watson headed against the bar.

"It was a game that unfolded the way we wanted it to,” said Courts. "We had a massively disrupted week but thankfully we were able to do some work on the training pitch which you saw with the game plan.

"I thought the young lads were excellent, really brave and I thought they stood up to the task of Rangers really well but probably a special mention has to go to the senior players who led from the front and gave the boys all the confidence to play on this type of platform.

"I think we came out of today with a bit of credibility in terms of the performance and given a bit of insight into the youth we will hopefully see in the future.

"I think we probably deserved a draw. In the first half, there wasn't much in it, Rangers had the bulk of possession but we probably had the best of the half chances.

"But in the second half when we hit the bar at the end I actually thought a draw would have been just rewards."

Courts had no complaints with the penalty decision after Scott McMann handled a cross from Tavernier.

“It was a flailing arm so on the basis of probability it looked like it probably was a penalty,” said Courts.

"It is just something that you have got to accept. It is frustrating that has been what has separated the two teams because other than the bulk of possession, I thought our organisation was excellent, our bravery on the ball was excellent and we actually had a couple of half decent chances so it is a bitter pill to swallow that it has been a penalty that has been the defining situation.”

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